Texas Christmas Tree Shortage? Not So Much, Say Local Farmers

Headlines about this year's Christmas tree haul make it sound like the Grinch came early this year. The economic recession means 10 to 20 percent price increases, claims one report. Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters wiped out tree farms in Southeast Texas, claims another.Bah, humbug, says the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association.Yes, some farms closed this season after Harvey gave them a beating. Yes, some farms nationwide are feeling the hurt of the recession years ago.But Texans looking to deck the halls this Christmas need not panic, says Marianne Wilson, the group's president."It affects us some, but we are a tough group of farmers," Wilson said. "That's just what we do."Nationally, the economic recession of Christmases past means fewer mature trees this season. According to The New York Times, that means pricier pines."We're not going to be short — everybody looking for a real tree will be able to get one," said Doug Hundley, a spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association. "But it is a tight market, and prices will rise."In Texas, the drought of a few years ago wiped out thousands of young trees that would be perfect for trimming this Christmas. Wilson said her farm, Mainstay Farm in Cleburne, planted extras after the drought to make sure there's enough for this year.One farm closed this year in Orange due to flooding on the Sabine River two years in a row, but its owner, Dan Kachtik, told Wilson it was time to retire anyway. The hurricane just offered a fitting time to call it quits.   Continue reading...

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